May 24, 2022

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James Harden disappears in Game Six amid contract uncertainty

James Harden disappears in Game Six amid contract uncertainty

James Harden was not present at Thursday’s Philadelphia fail.

The Sixers point guard — who traded Philadelphia on the deadline in February to help Joel Embiid in pursuit of a deep playoff push — was 4 of 9 with 11 points in 42 minutes of excitement.

hardening He only took two shots in the second half From the Philadelphia Elimination Loss 99-90 Game 6 Elimination to Miami. Take a shot in both the third and fourth quadrants.

His latest performance in his first season with The Sixers likely won’t guarantee a contract extension – but there are options.

If Harden chooses the final year of his contract, he will earn a salary of $47 million for the 2022-23 season, and become a free agent in 2023.

If he chooses to cancel his current contract, Harden will become a free agent this summer – potentially taking a Super Max contract worth up to $250 million over five years.

When asked if he plans to sign up for another year with the 76ers, Harden said, “I’ll be here. Whatever allows this team to continue to grow and improve and do the things needed to compete at the highest level.”

Harden didn’t have much to explain when asked what the Heat had done to curb him in Game Six.

He said, “Nothing.” “Nothing. We ran our attack. I felt like the ball was moving and it didn’t come back to me.”

The The Sixers got Harden through the net In a massive deal on Deadline in February, which replaced Harden with Ben Simmons. The previous league’s best player was the hopeful cure for the Sixers’ shooting struggles that Simmons led.

James Harden during the 76ers’ Game 6 loss to the Heat
Getty Images

Harden, who was a top scorer during his tenure at the Rockets, disappeared when the Sixers desperately needed him as the No. 2 scoring option behind Embiid – who had 20 points and 12 rebounds while playing through multiple injuries.

After losing Game 6, Embiid said Houston Harden fans once knew it was a thing of the past.

“Since we got it, everyone has been expecting Houston James Harden,” Embiid said. “But that’s not what it is anymore. He’s more of a playmaker. I thought, at times, he could have been, as we all could have been, more aggressive. All of us whether it was Teresa [Maxey] or Tobias [Harris] Or the guys are coming off the bench.

“And I’m not just talking about attacking. I’m talking about you in general offensively and defensively. I didn’t think we were that good defensively as a team. They took advantage of a lot of things we tried to do defensively. And then, offensively, everyone is on the same page, Obviously, they might just have what, three or four months to work together and try to figure it out. There probably wasn’t much time. … I don’t think we played our best basketball.”

Harden’s second half performance in Game 6, or lack thereof, infuriated ESPN character Stephen A. Smith.

“James Harden’s performance requires an investigation,” “Take first,” said the host. After the game. “How, God willing, would you go 22 minutes into the second half and try one shot. It was a horrible performance. Anemic and helpless performance for James Harden. And I’m really interested in seeing what Philadelphia 76ers do.” [coach] Doc Rivers because I smell something and don’t smell it at all.”

Rivers, though, didn’t put the blame on Harden after the Sixers were sent home from the playoffs.

“I’m not going to make this a referendum on James, okay?” Rivers said. “We could have played better. The ball could have moved more. Did we have enough time to get our things in? I think we did, honestly. I thought we really did, but obviously we didn’t.”

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